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Jim Wallis, well-known justice advocate and author, has stated that the two great hungers in the world today are for spirituality and social justice. Although social work and related fields have increasingly recognized the importance of addressing spirituality within clinical practice, less attention has been paid to the role of spirituality in promoting social justice or supporting social change within macropractice. The contributions in this edited collection highlight current developments in this area, including emerging conceptual frameworks, practice applications and research findings. Theoretical approaches to understanding the link between spirituality and justice are explored in analyses of alternative models of social justice and justice orientations of major faith traditions. The critical role of spirituality in larger system change is illustrated through exemplars of research on vulnerable populations, community practice, legislative advocacy, development of social movements, and ecological social work. The importance of including content on religion and spirituality in professional curricula is explored through research on students’ attitudes toward spirituality and social advocacy. Noting the resonating themes within all of these contributions, the volume concludes with an overview of emerging principles for spiritual activism.
This book aims to stimulate further development in the vital connection between spirituality and social justice. It was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work.
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Michael Sheridan, Ph.D. is Associate Professor with the National Catholic School of Social Service at the Catholic University of America, where she is also Director of NCSSS’s Center for Spirituality and Social Work. Dr. Sheridan’s scholarship includes over 70 publications and presentations on spirituality and social work practice and education.
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